Councillors in Bath and North East Somerset last night agreed to save the area’s mobile library from being axed. The decision comes after councillors were presented with a petition signed by 860 people, organised by local Conservatives, calling for the service to be spared from budget cuts.
At the Council’s budget-setting meeting last Tuesday, Conservative councillors tabled an amendment to the authority’s budget which restored funding for the mobile library and called for the service to continue. Despite originally proposing to axe the mobile library, the Council’s ruling Liberal Democrat Group accepted the Conservative amendment to the budget.
Conservative councillors, who have been campaigning against the Liberal Democrats’ plan to withdraw the area’s mobile library, have hailed the decision as a major victory for local residents. However, they have said that they will continue to press the Council on its importance to prevent it coming under threat again in future.
Councillor Martin Veal, the Conservative Shadow Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said:
“This decision marks a great victory for all those campaigning to save our area’s mobile library, and particularly for all the elderly residents and young children who value this service. The strength of support among local residents was made clear to councillors by the hundreds of people who signed our petition calling for the service to be saved, as well as all those who attended public meetings and engaged in the council’s own consultation.
“Our amendment to the Council’s budget restores the funding required for the mobile library to enable it to continue. However, we will continue to stand up for the mobile library and argue its importance to the council so that it is not threatened again in future.
“We would support innovative ideas to ensure the mobile library remains viable for the future, such as expanding the Council services it provides, but simply withdrawing it would leave too many vulnerable residents isolated.”